3 bet poker strategy

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Mark | Poker Articles, Poker Strategy

Submitted by Steve, this article belongs to the Poker Strategy series.

There are countless amounts of spots at the online  poker tables where utilizing the three bet properly will allow you to chip up hopefully without going to showdown. When I say without going to showdown I am talking about making a bluff move with a nothing hand like 45 offsuit preflop. Before I discuss this theory in detail I’d like to explain what a three bet actually is.

3 bet stealing preflop

Here’s a few more ways to get chips when you are deep in a tournament. I recommend using these moves ONLY when you have acquired reads on your table and adjusted to your opponents tenancies. If you are at a super aggro table, you might want to skip using these steal moves. But lets face it, if you’re a good player, you can tell when players are just trying to fold to make the money and protect their stacks. Now have you ever sat at the table with that guy that always repops you when you raise taking the action away from you preflop, always seems to be raising your blinds and your folding because you pick up 29 suited. But lets face it here, poker tournaments aren’t won by sitting back and waiting for pocket AA’S. Turning your nothing hands into a situation where you can potentially represent that you have a hand even when you don’t, and get your opponents to fold.

Well what is a 3 Bet resteal ? The word pretty much dictates the action that you must take. You are stealing a pot from your opponent by reraising his raise when the situation allows you to do so . These moves are usually used deep in the tournament once you build your stack.  This is where the fun starts! The antes are high, the blinds are going up and this means you are closer to the money!! So now is the time all the weak donkeys who went crazy in the beginning should shine right? Wrong! Deepstack poker with the pressure on is about playing without any pressure on you and making sure you put the pressure on the other players by raising and reraising. You must also be fully aware aware that you want to control the table. There are things that you can do such as 3bet, under the gun steal, button steal and reraise a raiser in an attempt to defend your big blind. Listing these moves you need to understand that performing tricky moves like this leaves you vulnerable postflop. Players have a tendency to tighten up and make a lot of mistakes when the tournament is deep and they have invested a time commitment. Throw in the fact that this might be their first deep run in a tournament . Keep the pressure on! If you use your best judgment and be a selective aggressive poker player, you will succeed.

Utilizing the 3 bet is a necessity and a huge part in advancing your tournament game. So what exactly is a 3 bet? When someone raises the pot and you reraise their raise, you are three betting your opponent.  Now three betting can spark a tournament players creativity because you generally don’t always need a hand to three bet. Using the 3 bet as a steal move is a way to get chips in a tournament hopefully without going to a flop. Three betting gives you a lot better of a chance to take down the hand whether its preflop or postflop. Since you took the initiative to put the pressure on your opponent, if they call you but miss the flop, you can continuation bet and have a good chance to take down the pot right there without showdown. Now Three betting light is when you are reraising your opponent with any two cards and use the three bet as a steal. Now when I say light I mean any two cards. You have to make sure there are no short stacks at the table that are capable shoving on you because they are getting desperate. This move is based on the thought process that most people raise when its folded to them and they will raise fairly light in an attempt to get in the action. Keep in mind it takes a pretty strong hand to raise and call a reraise as long as your three bet is sized properly. There are a few solid positions at the table that the three bet can be used to your full advantage.

Three betting to defend your big blind

How many times in tournaments have you gone completely card dead and someone consistently raises your big blind and you fold because you’re not calling with 45 offsuit. Instead of just folding in those situations you can pick a good time to three bet your opponents open raise. The ideal situation would be when its folded to someone in late position and they raise your blind . The button and small blind fold, leaving you heads up with your opponent preflop and a rag hand. Now faced with a raise most people might just throw their garbage hands away which most of the time is correct. But if you are mixing up your play and taking chances you want to be picking up these pots to increase your chipstack. Again remember, this move is a steal move so your cards are irrelevant. You are not playing the strength of your hand you are playing the situation. Another benefit of three betting your opponents out of the big blind is of you do it enough players might stop raising your blinds light since you are defending them and this might lead to more walks. You are just playing the fact that you are taking the lead in the hand and being aggressive preflop, allowing you to take down pots without going to a flop. The best situation to resteal is when you are pretty deep and your opponent has a medium sized stack and is raising into you. You don’t want to resteal someone who is desperate and will most likely come over the top of your reraise. Try to pay attention to who is raising a lot and if the person raised and folded to someone else’s reraise. You can pick up valuable pots and turn a hand that most people will fold into a hand where you can ship chips into your stack.

Defending button

There are a few things to pay attention to when trying to defend your big blind. Before you decide to reraise your opponent make sure he has enough chips left behind if he makes the fold. The same thought process goes for reraising your big blind. The value of three betting your button with any two cards as a steal move is the fact that you have position postflop and if you get called u can possibly continuation bet or check-raise the flop and take down a pot with a nothing hand. The problem with three betting on the button is that it’s sometimes and obvious steal move. Good player might pick up on it but you generally don’t have to worry about it if you have are good with your postflop play. The beauty about three betting your button is the simple fact that if you have position on your opponent for the remainder of the hand. Think about the hand your opponent must hold for him to continue the hand. Sit in your opponents chair for a second and look at the situation you are putting him in. Its folded to him and he puts in a raise with any standard opening hand let’s say for instance he’s raising with KJ. Now he’s probably thinking I can take down the blinds with this hand. But now someone reraises him making him think about the strength of his hand. When faced with a reraise most opponents will downgrade the strength of their hand. Now a good player will fold the KJ just because they don’t want to play put of position but the donkey calls you to “see a flop” which is an excuse used by donkeys from the beginning of time. Flop drops 2 5 Q rainbow. He checks and you continuation bet. Little does he know you hold the 78 off suite and he’s actually ahead! If your opponent hits the board, most of the time they will check to you so if he check calls or check raises you, obviously dump your hand. But this is a little trick that can be used in your tournaments. So go try it out and see how many nothing hands you can turn into opportunities to ship chips to your stack. 

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